Screenings and Physicals
- Required physicals: Grades K, 4, 7, 9
- Height and weight (Body Mass Index) in Grades 1, 4, 7, & 9
- Vision: Grades K-7, 9 & 11 referrals as needed
- Hearing: Grades K-7, 9 & 11 referrals as needed
- Postural screening in Grades 5 - 9
- Lead screenings
To opt out of screenings, call your school's nurse.
Screenings of students and the furnishing of a current physical presented to the school nurse are mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). Screenings helps to identify medical conditions and allows the collaboration of appropriate interventions to assist and enable children to meet their fullest educational potential. It also permits the appropriate course of action in the event of communicable or contagious diseases among students. In accordance with MDPH, school screenings are intended to supplement not replace a thorough examination performed by a physician. Physicals are presented to the school nurse within one year prior to entrance to school or within 30 days after school entry. All screenings are written in the student handbook and families are aware of screenings via this publication.
Height and Weight Screenings
MDPH dictates that the weight and height shall be measured for each student in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. Screenings of are performed by trained school nurses or others approved by the Department for this purpose. Every effort will be implemented to protect the privacy of the student during the screening and the student's health information and results will not be disclosed to ensure confidentiality. Parents and legal guardians shall be provided with an opportunity to request, in writing, that their child’s measurements not be taken.
Vision Screening Protocols
All students entering kindergarten or within 30 days of the start of the school year, proof of a vision screening done by a health care profession within the previous 12 months and passed must be provided. Screenings ae done annually in grades K-7, 9 and 11. If a student fails a vision screening, they will be referred to have an eye exam to a local eye doctor. If a student currently wears glasses, they must wear them for the screening. Vision problems may cause a student to struggle to see the board or be able to read, which is detrimental to their learning success.
The MDPH also requires that the hearing of every child be screened annually in grades K-7, 9 and 11. If a student fails the screenings a referral will be made. Hearing is also a factor in the success of student learning.
MDPH also requires postural screening to all students in grades 5–9. Students are screened for scoliosis, which is the curvature of the spine. The cause is unknown but, often becomes apparent during adolescence and is why the screenings are performed in the age range. Scoliosis may be correct and treated if discovered early. If your child has a positive screening, it is recommended to seek and evaluation by your health care provider to determine if treatment is necessary. These finding do NOT represent a diagnosis and is encouraged they be investigated further. The parent or guardian will be notified by letter if the child needs further evaluation. Parents may oft out of this screening by calling the school nurse.
MDPH requires universal, periodic blood lead screening for preschool children, once between the ages of 9 months and 12 months, and again at ages 2 and 3. The health care provider must also determine whether a child is at high risk for lead poisoning and, if so, schedule an additional screening at age 4. Lead poisoning screening is a requirement for entry into kindergarten and the result must be produced upon entry.
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT)
SBIRT is a confidential screening for the use of alcohol, marijuana and other substances. The goal is to let students know that school nurses are available to reinforce healthy decisions and to assist them in obtaining support if needed for substance use. All 7th and 9th grade students will be screened using the CRAFFT-II tool. Information and opt out notices will be sent home prior to screening. Students can also opt out on the day of screening.
- Both prescription and nonprescription medications that will be taken during school hours must be delivered to school by the parent in the original container.
- Written permission from the parent/guardian to the nurse is required for any student taking medication throughout the day.
- All prescription medication, such as insulin, inhalers, or Ritalin, require a physician’s authorization.
- Parents should request duplicate bottles from pharmacies - one bottle for home use and the other for school.
- Medications that is brought in a plastic bag will not be administered.
- Parents must retrieve medication by the last day of school or the medications will be destroyed.